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265 of 272 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An End to Stomach Pain
In an age when so many Americans rely upon pharmaceutical drugs to cure their ailments, Dr. Weil has suggested a sensible, proactive approach to healing yourself and maintaining excellent health.
I will admit that I've not been totally successful in incorporating all his suggestions, but everything here is at least worth a read. Especially notable to most are Dr...
Published on January 13, 2000 by sherman a nelly

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58 of 64 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars some new important health tips and relaxation techniques
Review by Carolyn B. Leonard (Buffalo234@aol.com) 1st NASR August 14, 1998 378 words
8 WEEKS TO OPTIMUM HEALTH by Andrew Weil, MD, read by the author (Random House, $18.00) Running time 3 hrs, 2 cassettes ©1997 ISBN 0-679-45166-8
Not just another weight-loss regimen, "Eight weeks" provides not only a schedule of incremental changes in diet and...
Published on September 1, 1998 by Carolyn Leonard


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265 of 272 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An End to Stomach Pain, January 13, 2000
By 
sherman a nelly ("Alabama" Between P & P) - See all my reviews
In an age when so many Americans rely upon pharmaceutical drugs to cure their ailments, Dr. Weil has suggested a sensible, proactive approach to healing yourself and maintaining excellent health.
I will admit that I've not been totally successful in incorporating all his suggestions, but everything here is at least worth a read. Especially notable to most are Dr. Weil's recommendations regarding supplements and his dietary admonitions.
Initially, I was drawn to this book after seeing Dr. Weil on TV. At first, my critical mind wanted to cast his ideas as folksy mumbo-jumbo, with just enough medical rationality to make it seem legitimate. But the more I listened, the more I became intrigued. The next day, I picked up this book, wondering if it could do more for my recurring stomach problems than what doctors had done for me.
I had been in pain daily, and had even (wrongly) thought I was having a heart attack (several times). I was saddled with a bevy of drugs and antacids to give relief of this gastro-intestinal reflux disorder, which is VERY common, and is OFTEN mistaken for heart attack.
Within 2 weeks of ceasing ibuprofen and caffeine intake, and taking a few recommended herbal supplements, I was pain- (and drug-) free: I was even able to eat a spicy Thai dinner with no repurcussions!
Today, I rarely suffer any stomach discomfort, and feel much stronger and healthier in general, thanks in large part to this book. It makes so much sense.
I recommend this book to anyone who wants to take an active role in their overall health, rather than just let health problems happen to them.
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63 of 64 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Healthy Living 101, May 6, 2000
If you know you need to give your lifestyle a "health makeover" but aren't sure where to start, this is the book for you. Dr Weil's eight-week plan helps you gradually phase out unhealthy habits and foods, and start enjoying a more health-enhancing lifestyle. By guiding you through moderate changes over eight weeks, rather than advocating radical change overnight, Dr Weil creates a plan that is easy to stick with. His well-researched, easy-to-read book is an excellent foundation for a lifelong commitment to healthy living. Following Weil's sensible plan won't result in "cold turkey" feelings, just a steady improvement in your physical, mental and emotional health. His lifestyle prescriptions will also result in weightloss. But the book's nutrition plan centres around abundance, not denial. Dr Weil's mantra is "quality" when it comes to food. If you're already leading a healthy lifestyle, and seek to expand your knowledge, this title will probably be a little basic for you. Dr Weil's new title "Eating Well For Optimum Health" may be a more enriching read. Dr Weil's eight-week plan, on the other hand, strikes me as being perfect "entry-level" material.
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68 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Weil is Way Ahead of the Curve, April 12, 2004
Several years before the tipping point occurred and Americans were alerted in significant numbers to the dangers of trans fats (also known as hydrogenated oils), Weil, in 8 Weeks to Optimum Health, sensibly and clearly laid out the dangers of these kinds of processed fats and warned us of their dangers so emphatically that he made the elimination of them from our diet the first step in his 8-step plan. Weil uses credible science to backup his assertions, never offers fads or extremes, and best of all, he writes in an intelligent, personal voice, using phrases like "I'd like you to . . ." which give the book an intimate feel, as if you were consulting with a personal nutritionist. Further, he has the wisdom to see that improving our health is not based on micromanagement, tweaking one thing or another, but rather is a holistic approach requiring daily walks, bringing beauty into our lives with something as simple as having fresh flowers on the table, and meditating or doing yoga. While I don't embrace everything Weil suggests, I have embraced the gist of his message and, more specifically, have radically changed my diet. No longer eating refined sugar and hydrogenated oils, I have lost 40 pounds in the last five months. A great companion book that is compatible with Weil's philosophy on many levels and which has also helped me is The Philosopher's Diet by Richard Watson.
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple, Concise Directions to Health!, April 26, 1998
By 
Dr. Weil is a Harvard-trained botanist and MD. More importantly, he has branched out into Integrative Medicine [his new name for alternative medicine] and is making the principles understandable to the general public.

He recently started a 2 year Post-Doc program for medical students and already practicing MD's at the University of Arizona teaching integrative medicine and an integrative clinic for practice. That clinic now has a waiting list of over a thousand people!

As the title states, this book breaks down the information into 8 weeks, simplifying the complicated process of changing one's whole life. Weil takes the reader by the hand and takes baby steps instead of huge leaps. [Which is acceptable if there are no current health crises].

One week, he asks you to find out about the water you drink, demonstrates a breathing exercise and asks the reader to go on a "news fast." No newspapers, evening news, or radio for a day.

The following week he asks the reader to research organic produce and requests that flowers be bought for the home environment.

These are tasks that are understandable making the reader feel successful each week. This work is grounded in good data, simply put and achievable over time. Weil "pads" the radical changes in between easy-to-make additions to one's life. One goes away feeling empowered instead of overwhelmed. An essential ingredient for changing one's lifestyle!

This book is a great beginning for the beginner on the path to wellness and prevention!

Dr. Weil is to be commended for breaking away from the myopic thinking of the traditional healthcare practitioner [which is changing!] and incorporating a broader picture of empowering the patient with practical, hands-on information.

This book would have garnered a "10" had Weil moved a bit more to the left. But, as previously noted, this text is a wonderful place to begin!

My hat! is off to him!
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy Step by Step to Better Health, December 26, 1999
Well-written and concise, this book is a great "starter" for those who want to make healthy life changes without totally changing their lives.
Dr. Weil keeps his advice simple and do-able, combining insight from Western and Eastern medicine with good old fashioned common sense.
The program is broken down into small changes implemented weekly and then built upon or varied on as the program progresses. The information in this book is easy to read and implement. Great for managers and professionals, but also for anyone with a tight time budget.
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Complete Plan on Well Being, October 19, 1998
By 
Nicholas Yaekle (Columbus, OH USA) - See all my reviews
After reading all of the reviews on Dr. Weil's 8 Weeks, I am stunned to find anyone say anything negative. There is no medical question that the program outlined in this book is healthy for all people. Dr. Weil certainly urges people to consult with their own health care provider if they need other help. My best friend and I have been on the program. I feel 100% better both physically and emotionally, as well as spiritually. My friend has lost 30 lbs, her blood pressure has stabilized, and her doctor has taken her off of a blood pressure medication she has been on for 15 years! Reading everything he has written not only inspires me to live healthy, but has inspired me to begin studying naturopathic medicine and it is a pleasure to talk with others about good health. I give this book every chance I get and have probably bought 20 copies thus far. Without hesitation, I recommend this book to anyone, even if you feel you are in good health. Its just good living. Anyone interested in talking more, feel free to contact me.
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58 of 64 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars some new important health tips and relaxation techniques, September 1, 1998
Review by Carolyn B. Leonard (Buffalo234@aol.com) 1st NASR August 14, 1998 378 words
8 WEEKS TO OPTIMUM HEALTH by Andrew Weil, MD, read by the author (Random House, $18.00) Running time 3 hrs, 2 cassettes ©1997 ISBN 0-679-45166-8
Not just another weight-loss regimen, "Eight weeks" provides not only a schedule of incremental changes in diet and exercise, but also such mental-spiritual practices as breath work, art and music appreciation. The program goal is to facilitate the body's natural capacity to heal and, so doing, to increase everyday well-being and help the participant reach their healthiest weight level. Dr. Andrew Weil begins the tape with his own story and provides a week-by-week, step-by-step outline of reaching better health. Available in book, video-tape or audiotape form. This is a review of the audiotape.
Like most heath gurus, Weil encourages exchanging red meat, dairy products, most oils, and refined foodstuffs for fish, olive oil, and plenty of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables; but the similarity ends there. He provides clear instruction in five basic breathing exercises (similar to Yoga); one helps you relax -- it put me right to sleep!-- one will wake you up, the others provide other benefits. Weil recommends taking a formula of antioxidant supplements, and he instructs on how to test and filter your water supply. He details reasons to avoid hazards such as ultraviolet rays and radiation. He encourages walking everyday and connecting more charitably with other people. I especially liked his comments about bringing more flowers into your home and life.
Andrew Weil, M.D., has worked for the National Institute of Mental Health and for fifteen years was a Research Associate in Ethnopharmacology at the Harvard Botanical Museum. He has traveled extensively throughout the world collecting information about the medicinal properties of plants, altered states of consciousness, and healing. He has written for the New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Nature, The New England Journal of Medicine and other national publications. He is currently Associate Director of the Division of Social Perspectives in Medicine, and Director of the Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona in Tucson, where he practices natural and preventive medicine. Eight Weeks to Optimum Health is his seventh book.
Reviewed by Carolyn B. Leonard (Buffalo234@aol.com)
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 weeks to optimum health- Menlo college, May 3, 2004
By 
Gustavo Kalen (Atherton, California) - See all my reviews
8 weeks to optimum health is an excellent book to read, in order to learn more about how to tune up your dieting, and exercising habits. Along with reaching optimum physical health through this 8 week process, Weil also wants you to reach optimum mental health through a series of exercises that offer you suggestions on coping with stress, anger and expressing your feelings.
This proves to be a good book for begginers, like myself, who want to get started on a good path to healthy living. I myself have not yet tried Weil's 8 week steps and methods, but just reading about them invigorates and motivates me to start developing healthy habits and mental stability, as well as being more intouch and connected with nature.
Along with being a very inspiring book it is to great extent a very informative book. It describes some conditions and diseases that the human body develops, and how to avoid them. Diseases that concern people of all ages, and how to take certain measures in your day to day habits that will greatly benefit you at an older age. Weil tells you to appreciate and love yourself and others, and to accept and embrace forgiveness. He offers you a small paragraph of lines to read as an exercise to love and liberate yourself, these types of exercises can be seen in several parts of the book. Along with these emotional exercises Weil also offers breathing exercises to both relax you and speed you up, to get you ready for your day. In fact these types of exercises I did have the chance to try along with some of my friends, and they did in fact have an impact on all of us, expecially the breathing exercises that give you very noticeable and real physical feelings.
This book is filled with many recipes to improve your health and physical appearance, further more it gives you recipes and tells you about certain roots, mushrooms and extracts that will improve your emotional conditions. These herbal extracts have many components that I did not know about like immune-enhancing, anti-cancer, and anti-viral properties that can be found in such mushrooms as the Japanese Maitake mushrooms. There is an entire section dedicated to a variety of muchrooms and extratcs that can be found in your local super market that offer many beneficial side effects for your overall mental and physical health.
Besides Weil's extensive and detailed 8 week program for reaching optimum health, he also focuses on projects to improve mental anbd physical conditions targeted at certain groups. He targets portions of his book on how to aid the frequent traveler, the overweight, certain age groups, for men, for woman, for those at risk of cancer and many more.

This was my first book I ever read by Andrew Weil, I enjoyed his syle of writing and his ability to reach the reader on several levels. I am looking forward to implement many of his methods and suggestions in the future, and I highly recommed this book to anyone who is interested on improving and perfecting both their physical and mental conditions. It is an overall excellent book to have around the house.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, great help, April 26, 2000
By 
Brian P. Linzy (Virginia Beach, VA) - See all my reviews
This is a great book, full of helpful information on becoming healthy. I have made a lot of small, but meaningful changes in my life because of it.
I wonder if the people trashing the book even read it, since the best they could come up with was making fun of the way Doctor Weil looks. That's so ridiculous! You don't have to like the man's beard to learn from this truly great text. Many of the points he makes are common sense, but you just don't bother to think about them unless someone points them out. That's what Dr. Weil has done here.
I have not made these changes in eight consecutive weeks, I'm still slowly phasing them in. This book is not simply a diet, it's a complete lifestyle change. You can except as much or as little of it as you want, but even if you one take one or two points from each week (chapter) into your life, I think this book is worth the purchase.
I'm looking forward to reading his other books now, starting with Spontaneous Healing.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of good advice presented systematically, some speculation too., April 10, 2006
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Overall, I think this is a very good book for someone who is trying to turn their health habits around, but is overwhelmed by all of the possibilities. It also a good track to run on for someone who wants to implement important life changes in an easy step-wise fashion. There is nothing fanatical about the recommendations and they can be easily implemented by almost anyone.

One of the things I most like about this book is the encouraging tone and the prioritization of various changes that are made little-by-little in eating habits, exercise, etc. This book recommends walking as the main source of exercise and gives some great arguments for why this makes sense. I think there are also some good and simple nutritional guidelines e.g. eliminated trans fatty acids, eating more fiber, using more olive oil, etc.

Mixed in with some well researched conclusions are Dr. Weil's opinions. For example, he recommends a fairly simple supplementation regimen. While it is true that not everything he says is necessarily supported by corresponding studies, it is also probably that some of it is on the mark, but the data is not all in or all of the variables are not possible to isolate. At the least, I don't see where this level of supplementation would do harm to most people.

I also like that Dr. Weil takes a holistic approach to health. He not only looks at and talks about the body. He also addressed stress and relaxation, life attitudes and other ingredients of a healthy life that impact on health. While he is very commercial, he is also a Harvard trained physician and I do think that he has some very good insights to share.

While in some ways I think this book can be better. I would still recommend it to almost anyone, especially people who are intimidated by the idea of exercising and changing their life habits. While not every suggestion might be on target, I am sure that if someone implemented ALL the suggestions over eight weeks, they would undergo a big positive change in the state of their health. I have certainly found this to be true and I cheat on some of them ;)
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8 Weeks To Optimum Health
8 Weeks To Optimum Health by Andrew Weil (Paperback)
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